{SQT} Summer is Not Over, We’ve Just Started School

(blink) Hey, it’s September! But thankfully it’s not officially fall for another 20 days. So just step off with your pumpkin spice everything for a few weeks yet please.

Seven Quick Takes

1. We made two visits to Shriners hospital in Philadelphia recently. Their specialty is orthopedics so Tony and I took the boys to discuss their back issues. Because of the muscle weakness associated with SMA, spinal curvature is a major concern. If you get stuck with a severely curved spine, you’re at greater risk for a severe respiratory infection. Fulton wears a body brace now to support his spine but it’s only a temporary measure. We felt Teddy might be ready for a brace and we wanted an opinion on what Fulton’s options were at this point. Because Shriner’s is a charity hospital, insurance was a non-issue. They will try to bill through our insurance but we don’t need to wait for anything because even if it’s not covered by insurance, the hospital will eat the cost. So we didn’t have to cancel our appointment when we learned our insurance company’s pre-authorization service can take up to two weeks. We won’t have to wait months for the boys to get new braces because insurance requires the primary doctor to write a script describing their condition…AGAIN, and then wait for the insurance to approve the braces. Instead, they’ll get new back braces in a couple of weeks. And with some of that bureaucracy lifted off the shoulders of everyone, the experience is better. Everything runs smoother, stuff gets done and you don’t question the motives behind anyone’s suggestions for this device or surgery. I wonder why a larger system of charity hospitals or medical system couldn’t work. If we didn’t just take the money we pay to insurance and donate it to our local hospitals or medical centers instead. A healthcare system based on charity. Someone flesh this idea out and get back to me. (And not to leave you hanging, no back surgery for Fulton right now. We’ll go back in six months and see how he’s doing with the new brace.)

2. Fulton wanted to see Monster Trucks for his birthday so we finally got him to a monster tuck show last weekend. It was Teddy’s first trip and he, and all the kids really enjoyed it. I’m not embarrassed to say I enjoyed it as well.

bigfoot monster truck

3. Immediately following a weekend away, we started school. Not the best idea, but no tears on the first day, or any since, so yay for that. A new school year usually means at least one curriculum post around here, plus a couple other homeschooly type posts, so if you have any school questions or ideas for posts I haven’t already written, leave a comment. Otherwise, I’ll get cracking on being all “veteran homeschool mom inspirational” up in here post Labor Day. Potential ideas include:

How to Stack Books and Papers in Piles that Don’t Tip Over into Liquids

Cursive, Glue, and Glitter: How to Revive Penmanship

Laundry Arithmetic: Divide Colors From Whites and You’re Halfway Done with Math for the Day!

The Problem with Older Students or Figure it Out Your Damn Self

4. I have one last speaking gig this summer at a parish in Front Royal, VA tonight, before helping at a regional blogging conference in the same town tomorrow. I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and new, and once again blowing my kids minds that, yes, Mama is visiting with people she met online that she’s never seen in person before this weekend.  And I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to looking forward to long quiet hours alone in the car. Prayers for safe travels always appreciated.

5. Recently, I shared an older photo on Facebook from the first run I did for my #35K4SMA campaign in 2013. When I did, I tagged my friends in it and said “This was fun, but let’s never do it again.” However, within a few days, these same “friends” had convinced several other ladies that we all needed to do a wine run together in November. Needless to say, against my better judgment and the promise I made to myself that I would NEVER RUN AGAIN, I agreed to complete the wine run. So far, I’ve jogged once.  But I keep setting my alarm for 5:50 a.m. so, eventually, another jog is bound to happen. Stay tuned for hilarious anecdotes of injury and regret.

6.  The three older kids all want to do different activities this year. Last fall, Edie and Byron started Parkour in back to back classes. But now Edie wants to try Irish dance, Byron wants to stick with Parkour and we’re considering a more serious fencing school for Addie that is further away and requires a larger time commitment. Plus, this year Fulton and Teddy have their twice monthly ‘Science and Adventure Club’. And don’t forget music lessons for the older three, plus scouts for Addie (and Tony’s a leader). I hate all the driving around. I like us all to stay put at least a couple of nights a week. But as everyone gets older, the lure, and necessity of outside activities is unavoidable. We’re trying to help them discover and develop passions while not losing the close home life that is so important to Tony and I, or draining our bank account. I’ve been making calls, sending emails and examining our calendar and daily schedule with a magnify glass. We’ll have to see how it all plays out. Already I hate how all these outside commitments cramp my carefree, spontaneous beach trip attitude. It’s the one thing I’m glad I fully took advantage of when the kids were little: random field trips and flexible travel. We could pick apples some fall morning, visit the beach another warm afternoon, join a homeschool group for an outing or playdate. And all the midday trips to BJ’s Wholesale Club I could handle! (Samples anyone? Everyone?!?) I could take an overnight to see family if I wanted. But it’s much harder now. Sometimes the younger homeschool moms don’t understand why us older moms don’t do all the cool stuff, but even though we still have little kids, it’s all the big kid commitments that are tying us up. I didn’t get it then either, but I do now.

7. Thanks for all the love, shares and feedback on my special needs parenting posts. If you didn’t catch them all they are:

I’m a Special Needs Mom and This Is How I Pray

What To Do When Your Child Won’t Stop Staring At A Person In A Wheelchair

The Sadness We Bring To a Diagnosis Should Not Become Our Child’s

How Can We Keep Our Faith When Bad Things Happen To Our Children

I’m tentatively scheduled to chat it up with Jen on The Jennifer Fulwiler Show, Sept. 8th about some of the topics I touched on. Tune in if you’ve got Sirius satellite radio!

Now it’s your turn! How was you week? Write it down then link it up below. Be sure to include a link back to this post so your readers can find the rest of the Quick Takes. I look forward to reading your posts!


  1. Thank you so much Kelly!

    I always enjoy your QTs and look fwd to clicking to others’ posts as well…
    Completely love this post…!!

    I also read with interest, but didn’t comment on, your Spec needs Parents series. Esp enjoyed and found so inspirational the “this is how I pray” post….so awesome. Thank you so much for sharing your heart in those Kelly,

    Gd bless

  2. It’s wonderful to hear of such a positive experience at Shriner’s! The medical system can SO frustrating– I can’t even imagine what you’ve been through dealing with so many doctors, facilities, health insurance, etc… ugh.

    But, Shriner’s has an endowment of a couple billion dollars, while U.S. health care spending is in the TRILLIONS. I think it’s great to eliminate some bureaucracy and get more efficient care to those who need it most, but that is easier said than done. The ACA has helped, but we still have millions of people in this country with no insurance or who are underinsured and have even less access to care.

    Now if we can come up with a magic way to fund charity care for everyone, I’m all in 🙂

    Enjoy these last days of summer!

  3. RE point Number 1: My main “hospital” isn’t a charity hospital, but it is a non-profit. So I’ve had many similar experiences there as to what you described–stuff just getting done, because it needed to be done, and we wrangle with insurance later, or the hospital will eat the cost. In fact, this almost happened with my transplant. Insurance doesn’t like to pay for people to be first in a program, and I was, most likely, going to be first (as I was). So the hospital said, look, if your insurance balks, we’ll just eat the cost. Don’t worry about it. We need someone to be first, we don’t care.
    God bless doctors and hospitals that are willing to do this.

    1. Crap, I can’t edit my comment, so something I forgot: and “eating the cost” would’ve been like, millions of dollars. We’re not talking a couple thou, here.

  4. Shuffling the children off to their activities sounds like such a challenge! For that reason, there was a point in time when my parents had the 4 oldest kids at home all doing Irish dance, so they just had to make one trip a week to one dance studio to drop us off at class (our teacher was flexible with them staying later while I went to class). I hope that Edie enjoys Irish dance if that ends up happening!

  5. I really need a post on how to keep piles from tipping into liquids…or how to keep liquids from spilling onto piles. I have both of those problems, big time.

    Also, this activities stuff is making me crazy. We’ve never done it before, really- our oldest has tried out things here and there. This year, everyone wants to do something, and I just don’t know how I’m going to do it. (What I really mean is, I don’t know how much of my life I want to sacrifice on the altar of ballet-or-whatever…but you know what I mean.) Hearing your list of what you’re considering makes me feel like such a whiner. I should probably just suck it up, huh? 🙂

  6. The monster trucks look fun! I took my daughter to the fair for her birthday. And she will start school (kindergarten!!!) this week, but it does feel like summer is over here in the Pacific North West. The temperatures have cooled down, so it’s starting to feel like fall.

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